|Native speakers||8.0 million (2004)|
Ojhi (Ojaboli, Ojha, Ojhe, Oza, Ozha), Powari, Banapari, Gahore, Tirhari, Godwani (Mandlaha), Sonpari. Godwani, Kumhari
|Writing system||Devanagari script|
|Official language in||India (Madhya Pradesh)|
bfy – Bagheli
pwr – Powari
Bagheli (Devanagari: बघेली or बाघेली) is an Eastern Hindi language spoken in the Baghelkhand region of central India. It is one of the languages classified as a dialect of Hindi by the Indian Census Report until 2001.
The language spoken in Baghelkhand has been known as Bagheli since the 13th century. Bagheli is a regional language used for intra-group and inter-group communication. It is also known as Baghelkhandi, Rimahi and Riwai (Rewa district).
Dr. George Abraham Grierson in his Linguistic survey of India classified Bagheli under Indo-Aryan, Eastern Hindi. The extensive research by Dr. Bhagawati Prasad Shukla also agrees with Dr. Grierson’s classification. Ethnologue classifies Bagheli as Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, and East Central zone (Grimes 1992:552). According to Dr. Bhagawati Prasad Shukla, Bagheli language has three major divisions:
- Pure Bagheli
- West Mixed Bagheli
- Southern Broken Bagheli
Indian Census report 1991 classifies Bagheli/Baghelkhandi as a dialect of Hindi under Scheduled language list.
Powari is considered either a dialect group within Bagheli, or a separate branch of Central zone Hindi.Powari is itself divided into a number of dialects, including Bhoyar Powari (Bhoyari, Bhomiyari, Bhoyaroo, Bhuiyar, Bhuria, Bohoyeri), Vyneganga Powari, Govari of Seoni, Khalari, Koshti, Kumbhari, Lodhi, Marari. Lexical similarity between Powari dialects is reported as 60%–87% by SIL Ethnologue, and lexical similarity between Powari and Bagheli i as 49%–65%.
Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Shahdol, Umaria and Anuppur are primary districts of Bagheli speaking area. The Bagheli speaking area extends up to the Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh and Bilaspur and Koriya districts of Chhattisgarh.
- There are several radio and TV programmes in Bagheli. All India Radio is broadcasting Bagheli songs and agricultural programmes from Shahdol,Rewa and Bhopal stations.
- Awadhesh Pratap Singh University (APSU) in Rewa provides multiple opportunities to learn and research in this language.
- Pathak, R. S. The Phonetics of Bagheli: A Phonetic and Phonological Study of a Dialect of Hindi. New Delhi: National Pub. House, 1980.
- Shukla, Hira Lal. Contrastive Distribution of Bagheli Phonemes. Raipur: M.P., Alok Prakashan, 1969.
- Shukla, Bhagvati Prasad. 1972. Bagheli Bhasha aur sahithya (Hindi). Allahabad: Sahitya bhavan Pvt. Ltd
- Koshy, Binoy; Tutum Padung and GB Amar. 2004. A Sociolinguistic study of Bagheli speakers in Madhya Pradesh. Unpublished research by NLCI
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